The 30th edition of IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show was the fourth largest IMTS in history and the largest 6-day show ever, with registration of 114,147 individuals representing 112 countries. IMTS covered more than 1.282 million square feet of exhibit space and hosted 2,035 exhibiting companies.

The application of additive manufacturing on a large scale stole the show in AMT’s Emerging Technology Center. AMT collaborated with Local Motors, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Cincinnati, Inc. to bring to life the first-ever, drivable, 3D-printed car, printed in only 44 hours and assembled on the show floor at IMTS. On the last day of the show, the car, “Strati” – named by its Italian designer for its “layers” – successfully started and drove out of McCormick Place. 

The result is an electric car that drives at a top speed of 40 mph and only consists of about 40 parts, versus 20,000 parts in a regular car. The rapid design, prototyping and assembly “is a game changer in the automotive world,” said Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors. 

News of the world’s first 3D-printed car is still sweeping the nation from Chicago to Atlanta and from local stations to CNN. “Media from all over the world covering the first-ever 3D printed car build created this one-of-a-kind feel, and the entire community was caught up in the excitement,” said Peter Eelman, AMT Vice President – Exhibitions and Communications.

“Even more exciting to exhibitors was the fact that customers came with buying intentions and a confidence that has not been seen in the manufacturing industry in many years,” Eelman continued. “The evidence is clear in a capital spending survey released by Gardner Business Media, which predicts a 37 percent increase in metal cutting machine tool consumption in 2015.”
This year, the Smartforce Student Summit proved to be more successful than ever. With more than 50 hands-on exhibits and five dynamic keynote speakers, the Summit was able to provide a fun and interactive environment to introduce educators, students and parents to exciting innovations in manufacturing technology and dynamic careers in the industry. More than 17,000 students made their way through the event this year, almost double the number of students at IMTS 2012.

Students had the opportunity to see how much fun STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based learning can be in the Make It! area. There, students were able to try out new technologies and compete to see who could design and create the most effective 3D-printed wind turbine, courtesy of Rippl3D. The keynote speakers, including STEM celebrities like former astronaut Captain Wendy Lawrence and Segway PT inventor Dean Kamen, shared insights on how these fun STEM experiences translate into careers. Once finished with the Student Summit experience, students were invited to visit the thousands of IMTS exhibits.

The Miles for Manufacturing 5K Run/Walk also benefited the next generation of leaders in advanced manufacturing. Despite cold, rainy conditions, more than 150 people supported the event and more than $15,000 was raised and donated to the Austin Polytechnical Academy (APA), a college and career prep high school with a focus on manufacturing and engineering located on Chicago’s West Side.

As part of the focus on education, IMTS hosted six conferences: the IMTS 2014 Conference, TRAM 2014, the MDA Conference, the Additive Manufacturing Workshop, EOS NAUD 2014, and the Global Automation and Manufacturing Summit. From additive manufacturing to trends in advanced manufacturing, attendees and exhibitors were able to find solutions for their manufacturing needs while learning more about this ever-changing industry.
There were two co-located shows at IMTS: Industrial Automation North America (IANA) and Motion, Drive & Automation North America (MDA NA). IANA showcased the best in process, factory and building automation with products and solutions for production automation, metalworking and precision manufacturing. The inaugural MDA NA provided a networking hub for North America’s power transmission, motion control and fluid technology sectors. 

Government officials from the Commerce, Defense and Energy Departments learned how advances in manufacturing technology are impacting not only the U.S. economy but also the world by touring IMTS throughout the week. 

Overall, the show was a resounding success for visitors and exhibitors who came together and left inspired. Eelman put it best, saying, “During IMTS 2014, there was a universal vibe among exhibitors, visitors and even students, that manufacturing is now THE place to be.” 

Make your plans now to join us for IMTS 2016 in Chicago, September 12-17.